James Brown as a singer, songwriter and bandleader was one of the primary originators of funk and soul music in the 1950s and ’60s. The Godfather Of Soul was without question one of the most influential figures in pop music in the latter half of the 20th century. Beginning his career in gospel music, he moved into secular R&B in the mid-50s, acquiring a reputation as a dynamic live performer. James started recording for the Federal label in 1956 with his band The Famous Flames.
This 57-track 2-CD set covers the era when James developed his trademark style and laid the groundwork for his pioneering funk performances during the ’60s and ’70s. It comprises all the A and B sides of his singles on the Federal and King labels, both with The Famous Flames and solo. These were the formative early years of his career, from 1956 to ’61 (Acrobat throws in some bonus tracks from 1962). It also features all 19 of his pop and R&B hits from this era, including his Top 5 R&B debut “Please Please, Please,” the R&B #1 “Try Me,” as well as “Lost Someone” and “Baby You’re Right,” both of which hit #2 on the R&B charts. This is a great showcase for one of the most sensational performers of all time, and provides a significant glimpse at the genesis of soul and funk.